“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”-Luke 12:33-34
We are all familiar with the variety of earthly accounts into which we can make deposits and are well versed on how to place things into those accounts, but how do we make deposits into our heavenly account?
Jesus instructs us here in Luke 12 that we lay up treasure in heaven by helping meet the needs of others. That means using your earthly possessions to see the needs of others met. All throughout scripture we see God point out that it is in our eternal interest to help others in need:
“Whoever has a bountiful (good) eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”-Proverbs 22:9 (ESV)
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”-Isaiah 58:10 (NLT)
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”-Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)
"No other story in the Bible illustrates better the eternal impact of ignoring this truth than Matthew 19:16-21 (ESV):
“Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
This is the sad testament of a man who had the means to help those in need, but was unwilling to use it to bless others. Wealth had become his god. His possessions had become his identity. He could not see that using his wealth on earth could build an eternal foundation in heaven.
People, primarily, store their earthly finances in one of two places: a checking/savings account and a retirement account. One we have access to daily, the other is laid up for the future. Because I have a retirement account, I can look forward to retirement. Why? Because, that which I laid up in that account will be there waiting on me. Pastor Randy Alcorn made a similar statement regarding heaven:
“He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity.”
Why? Because we have treasure laid up there. Many people don’t look forward to retirement because they have nothing laid up for it. In much the same way, many don’t look forward to eternity because they have nothing laid up for it.
If we truly want our lives to be filled with light, purpose and meaning then we need to develop an eye for what is eternal. Every act of kindness, good deed, and sacrificial effort is accumulating interest in the heart of our heavenly Father. By helping those in need, we are laying up treasure in heaven.
Dayspring Community Church